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I had had this happen to me several times. I have chosen one citation style that I generally apply in all my answers since some date, which goes like Book <(edition)> <(year)> p##. Year and edition are optional, if needed to differentiate books of the same name or if the year is needed for a 'first mentioned'.

Now, I had to do partial rollbacks due to people messing up my citation style here, and some two times last year. In all these cases I did a (partial) rollback to my style.

I believe it extremely rude to fudge with citation styles, as it doesn't provide any of the valid reasons for editing: either fixing spelling or adding extra structure to make it more readable.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As another user who (long ago and, I think, only the one time!) altered your citation style (and will never do so again!) and who also has an interest in this kind of stuff, can I ask what organization uses that style of citation? (That's not to question the style's integrity or anything! Seriously, the only reason I changed it when I did years ago was that I personally found it difficult to read!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 26 '18 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Technically it is a derivate. Basis is the German historical science style: "Author: Title, Place (year) S.##." \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Nov 26 '18 at 16:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish thankyou for this question. It frustrates me to no end when people edit posts only for the sake of making the reference style exactly match their personal preference. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Nov 27 '18 at 4:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan: That's the same reason I had made the edit that prompted this question. Sorry about that, Trish! \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 27 '18 at 6:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ On a tangent, to be honest, I think you should consider changing your citation style to something a little less terse. In particular, while "DMG" and "5e" are at least reasonably established terms of art in D&D, it's not immediately obvious what e.g. "p13" means: is it page 13 or paragraph 13 or something else? Maybe it's l33t sp34k for "pie"? If you don't feel like spelling out the full word "page", at least consider using the standard English abbreviation, which is "p." (or "pp." for multiple pages). \$\endgroup\$ – Ilmari Karonen Dec 4 '18 at 11:02
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"Allowed to change..." is evidently "yes," since that user has edit privileges. But I'll answer what I think is the implied question "was this a good edit" or maybe "was I right to roll back" or even "what should I do ~about~ this user's edits?"

Was this a good edit?

I don't think so. The differences in citation presentation are minimal, and we've no universally-preferred citation style anyway. (See also Stance on using D&D Beyond for references?, Please consider using book references that will be understood internationally, and Is there a style guide for posts?)

Was I right to roll back the edit?

You were fine to roll back: edits should be substantial and actually improve posts. I do think it's good that in addition to rolling back you raised this meta. Not only do you get your confirmation but future learning editors have this example worked for their edification.

What should I do about edits I don't like?

I just recently learned that you can @-mention an editor in comments on a post--even if they've not commented. So there's a nice low-impact route to start with. Many of our most-active editors are also active chatizens, so they're often pingable in [chat], too.

If someone is often making edits you object to or seems not receptive to feedback feel free to flag for mod-attention and possible intervention. In that case a handful of examples and a brief description will be helpful.

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In general citation style is a matter of personal preference that ought to be respected by editors. We don't edit to supplant personal preferences of the original author because otherwise we'd see infinite edit warring.

However, legibility can trump personal preferences, and I think that's relevant here.

Every citation style I know either cites the source naturally in the text—“According to Clarke (2004)”—or has a simple number either bracketed (1) or superscripted2 or both[3]. Now, we're not beholden to APA, Harvard, or any other citation style, but the point is none of them are using long strings of superscripted text without brackets.

Now, this is personal, but taking an example from one of my own posts, I think this is more legible with brackets around the citations:

Later, the Gods would take notice of this experiment. They visited the Mortal World and stabilised it, separating it into seas and land masses, and sprinkling it with life, making it what we know now.[MOP 70] The Primordials eventually discovered this, found their work of art desecrated with Astral life and stability, and wished to return it to the chaotic thing it was before.[MOP 70] Thus the Dawn War was fought between the Gods and Primordials over the fate of the World.[MOP 70] The Gods won, and the Primordials who survived the conflict were imprisoned or scattered far throughout the Elemental Chaos.[TPB 65]

... than without:

Later, the Gods would take notice of this experiment. They visited the Mortal World and stabilised it, separating it into seas and land masses, and sprinkling it with life, making it what we know now.MOP 70 The Primordials eventually discovered this, found their work of art desecrated with Astral life and stability, and wished to return it to the chaotic thing it was before.MOP 70 Thus the Dawn War was fought between the Gods and Primordials over the fate of the World.MOP 70 The Gods won, and the Primordials who survived the conflict were imprisoned or scattered far throughout the Elemental Chaos.TPB 65

Simply because the brackets provide a clear visual break from surrounding text that helps me skip over them if I want to just focus on the text and not its citatinos.

I'm not about to say your citation style is wrong. It was not necessarily correct to replace it, although I can see where the editor was coming from in doing so. However, please consider that using brackets or parentheses around your citations is, I think, going to markedly improve the legibility of your posts.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I was curious so I tried to find a text that used German historical science style the way the asker does. I found unbracketed superscript footnotes directing the reader to bibliography entries that then use that citation style, but I didn't find any that put those bibliography-style citations in superscript as an in-line reference. This doesn't mean that the asker's wrong or whatever or that it's okay to change the asker's citations, but it may explain the resistance to the style: it is—so far as I can tell—atypical, and it does make for a more challenging read for those unused to it. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 6 '18 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Using superscript in flavor of putting all to a bibliography at the end was a choice that I made when I realized that sometimes the bibliography would end up 2 to 3 page heights below the citation, making reading the text a scrolling exercise. introducing the p was to differentiate between the page or volume of a book. \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Dec 6 '18 at 14:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sure, and I'm not saying "don't use superscript" or "use footnotes" — I'm suggesting consider putting brackets in that superscript, like the edit did. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 6 '18 at 14:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also consider not using superscripts at all for text longer than a few letters, for accessibility reasons. They’re objectively harder to read on screens, and ours are extra small/illegible. I have no problem because I use very high-DPI screens and (don’t yet) need reading glasses, but I’ve heard from one user in the past that they can’t read our superscripts at all without assistance. There’s a reason no modern citation style uses cites that are inline and superscript. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 6 '18 at 17:53

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